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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Kirschaum

A recruiter actually said this to me

Sitting in a recruiter's office in Denver, they told me a client looked them dead in the eye and said, "No tattoos!"

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind closed doors? Here's a taste.

That recruiter needed the job, and this client was 50% of their book. No tattoos it is.

That was a rare insight into how a lot of candidates get chosen or not chosen. Here are a few more.

Apply in the first hour after the job is posted. The recruiter who gets your application and résumé and makes the call in seconds: Yes/No.

Your résumé actually gets seen. Often it doesn't. Here's why.

If you go in the "Yes," pile, they'll move fast and book you for a screener interview immediately.

If you go in the "No" pile. Keep walking. Nothing to see here.

Playing "Beat the Clock" gets old fast. Even if you sit at your computer all day, you lose more often than you win, and the "new" jobs to apply for dry up fast.

Your confidence now has two black eyes and a fat lip. But you're still in the fight.

After a while, we start what recruiters call "Pray and Spray."

Apply for anything because you need a job. It's a numbers game. You're used to working, and applying for jobs is work. This math works.

On the other side, once they get their required number of résumés - that might be 10, 20, or 25 - if you're number 26, forget it. All the seats are taken for this ride. Timing wins again.

This can and often does go on for months and months.

Skip ahead. You get some interviews and are told you're ...

Overqualified. This is the "It's not you, it's me" of job hunting.

Hiring overqualified people is the norm, not the exception. I repeat. Hiring people who know the ropes and can do the job in their sleep is the norm.

When someone says you're "overqualified," it's an out for them - like asking, "How are you?" when you see your neighbor once a year in the grocery store. It's polite. You don't want to get into it! You're overqualified!

How wonderful!

And people who are deathly afraid of not knowing something at their new job - a.k.a. imposter syndrome. Not recruiter-bashing. This is part and parcel of work culture.

If the job has been posted on big sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, etc., the candidates that get that sought-after screener call are likely the top picks of over 200, 500, or even 1000 applicants. The person who gets the job is very likely to be overqualified.

Why hire a growth candidate when you can hire a hyper-qualified one?

Anyone thinking of hiring you is doing a heavy-duty LinkedIn stalk to prepare for your screening interview. And if you get the names of anyone, you better be doing the same. From your profile, a recruiter or hiring manager can see everything. Everyone who interviews you is going to look at your profile.

Résumés - even the good ones - don't compare to an online, clickable profile.

Someone who looks at 100 profiles a day, will evaluate yours in seconds. Studies show that eyes go to your profile photo first. I talk about this in LinkedIn Boost. You can do many things to bump your candidacy up in the first-glance arena. The kiss of death here is them saying "no" and clicking away before they even scroll down. Next, your headline also reveals a lot, especially when you look at 100 a day. Get your headline right, and one other thing - which is key - and now you're found in searches, which is preferred 10 to 1 over applying. A recruiter saying, "I found this candidate," is infinitely better than saying, "These are the top applicants."

Recruiters look at you on LinkedIn

What are they looking for?

If they scan your profile, they do look at ... this, and they look at it HARD. It's not your experience. Your résumé has that, and if you've repeated it on LinkedIn, that's a mistake. What is it? Sorry, saving that for Boosters only. See below👇 Now if they find you first on LinkedIn, it means you left the porch light on and the door open, and you're smart and operating at an advantage. It doesn't have the same "I'm taking action!" feel as applying to jobs, yet it's almost always more impactful.

If someone looked at your profile today, what would they do? What are the chances they'll find your profile in a search or from a post on your feed? Job hunting is marketing, and most marketing takes place on LinkedIn. Yours has to be right and tight.

Get LinkedIn Boost before it goes away...


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